The Australian government has announced a plan to tackle soaring power prices, but what does it mean for you in dollar figures?

Up to $510 in electricity relief announced 💡

  • Average households can expect to save $230 on power bills in 2023 due to new caps on wholesale gas and coal prices.
  • Low-income households and concession card holders receiving state government payments can expect additional relief of up to $280 starting in April 2023.
  • While there’s no guarantee that power prices won’t increase in 2023, the new measures aim to prevent costs from rising by the full 30% that was previously predicted.

Now is an excellent time to ensure you’re on a cheap plan and register for government concessions you might be eligible to access.

EnergyAustralia has information about the various concessions provided by state governments and the eligibility requirements you need to meet to receive these concessions.

Don’t just set and forget your gas bills 🔥

With gas prices expected to soar by another 16-38% next year, now is a good time to separate your gas from your electricity bill and go with a different provider if you can find a cheaper deal.

If your provider has hiked your rates, check out what else is available and see if they have a cheaper deal available than what you’re on.

You can see current gas deals at government websites like Energy Made Easy and Victorian Energy Compare.

What exactly has been announced? 📰

The Commonwealth will impose price controls on coal and gas and give $1.5 billion to the states and territories to spend on rebates for power bills. The treasurers will use money in each jurisdiction to reduce energy bills for households and small businesses.

Federal parliament will be recalled next week to deal with the necessary legislation. The plan is expected to result in government rebates for power retailers to help them lower the bills they send out.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the government will provide financial support to people on income support and welfare payments.

State and territory treasurers will finalise their respective relief packages by early next year, with support expected to begin in the second quarter of 2023.

This means eligible Australians will likely have to wait until April 2023 or later to receive relief.

The rebates form part of a plan to reduce energy prices. The government’s October budget forecasted a 56% increase in electricity prices and a 44% increase in gas prices for households and businesses.

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The government announced that it would enforce a mandatory code of conduct for the gas industry, which will temporarily cap the wholesale price of gas at $12 per gigajoule for 12 months.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing the code and will be given extra resources. The government will also work with New South Wales and Queensland to introduce a cap on the spot price of coal, limiting it to $125 per tonne.

The idea here is that capping gas and coal prices will make it cheaper for generators to purchase supplies, which will, in turn, lower power bills.

While Australia’s federal government has the authority to control gas prices, the responsibility for capping coal prices will fall to the two largest coal-producing states. The government will provide financial support to NSW if the coal price cap affects the cost of production.

This support addresses the state’s concerns about the effect on coal-powered generators, which are contractually obligated to pay more than $125 per tonne.

The government said its measures on gas and coal will reduce forecast increases in electricity prices from 2023-24 from 36% to 23%, preventing a $230 power bill increase for the average household. The announcement came after Energy Minister Chris Bowen met with state and territory counterparts to pay for electricity to ensure sufficient supply in the grid, but will exclude gas and coal companies in favour of renewables.

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There has already been downward pressure on energy prices since the federal government announced its plans.

Mr Bowen confirmed that the Australian government would not provide cash handouts to help Australians pay for their energy bills in order to avoid further fuelling inflation.

Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley said that any reduction in power bills would come too late for families struggling to stay afloat this Christmas.